Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy (YCD), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has announced plans to roll out a K20 million sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programme among the youth amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The programme follows fears that the youth may be at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and getting unplanned pregnancies as schools remain closed due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In an interview, YCD executive director Francis Folley said Choosing Our Future Sexual Reproductive Health Services Project will bring interventions in SRH services among the youth as the country is busy fighting the pandemic.
“We should move to protect children from STIs and unwanted pregnancies,” he said.
Folley also appealed to other stakeholders to ensure that adolescent girls are protected because they are the country’s future.
His sentiments come at a time health authorities and other stakeholders in the district have expressed concern that there will likely be a surge in unplanned pregnancies and STIs due to the pandemic.
In a separate interview, Chikwawa District youth-friendly health services coordinator Patrick Baluwa said contraceptive uptake has gone down as less than 20 youths come to get contraceptives every week as compared to 300 who initially visited the
district hospital in the past per week.
“A lot of youths shun the hospital, saying they don’t want to catch Covid-19,” he said.
Baluwa said they plan to resume outreach programmes after they stopped to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures